Daniel Catalaa


This recipe is for a batch of 24 empanadas (small hand-held meat pies from South America). The 'tapas' or pastry disks I typically buy at a store in the San Francisco Mission neighborhood (on Mission Street between 21st and 22nd street, South side sidewalk, Chinese owners). Otherwise at the market 'El Chaparral' (1001 E Santa Clara St., San Jose, CA 95116) and the brand name is 'La SalteƱa' and the type is 'hojaldre'.


  • Beef, minced, 2 lbs.
  • Chili pepper, red, small, with seeds, x1
  • Cumin, 1/2 tsp.
  • Eggs, hard boiled, x3
  • Empanada pastry disks, x12
  • Garlic, minced, 2 cloves
  • Olive oil, 1/4 cup
  • Olives, green, coarsely chopped, 3 oz.
  • Onions, medium, x2
  • Oregano, dry, 3 tsp.
  • Raisins, 1/2 cup
  • Tapas (pastry disks), Package (15 disks/each), x2
  • Tomato, sauce, 1 can (15 oz.)
  • Salt, 1 tsp.
  • Water, 1 cup


  1. Fry garlic and onion: Chop the onion and mince the garlic then sautee them in a large deep skillet with the olive oil, chopped chili pepper, cumin, oregano, and salt Use a medium-sizes flame and cook the mixture until it is translucid.
  2. Brown the meat: Add the minced meat to the skillet. Stir and cook until all the meat has turned from red to brown and starts crumbleing apart.
  3. Cook and thicken filling: Add the tomato sauce and water then cook the filling down without a lid until the mixture has thickened and is easy to spoon (about 15 minutes).
  4. Cool filling / Add remaining ingredients: Once the filling has cooled down to room temperature, stir in the chopped hard boiled eggs, chopped olives, and raisins.
  5. Stuff the pastry disks: Separate each pastry disk and spoon into the middle a couple of tablespoons of the filling. Then seal the edges together forming a half moon. Crimp the edges in a decorative way; this will further seal in the filling.
  6. Preheat oven: Prehead the oven to 350 F. Slightly oil two baking sheets and distribute the empanadas among the two sheets.
  7. Bake till golden: Bake in the oven until the crust is light golden brown (approximately 20-25 minutes).


If you would like to attempt to make the pastry disks yourself, here are the instructions:

  1. Assemble dough: Lightly mix together 2 whole egg, oil 20 Tbs, lukewarm water 20 Tbs, regular flour 44 Tbs, until they form a ball.
  2. Refrigerated rest time: Let rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or longer if desired.
  3. Roll and shape dough: Cut the dough ball into 4 parts so that it is more manageable. Dust the kitchen counter with some flour and roll out the dough. Cut out into disks with a ~6 inch diameter and stuff them with filling.